I’m going to assume that Matt Yglesias and Mike Konczal stopped reading today’s editorial at paragraph two. They seemed to have missed the part where the editorial never asserted that the recession Obama inherited was identical to the one Reagan inherited, nor that Obama should have adopted the same solutions that worked for Reagan. The comparison was only that in each case, a painful structural adjustment was necessary: One man had the fortitude to stick it out, and the other took the path of least resistance. Our examples of Obama pain-avoidance have nothing to do with interest rates. They are:
1. He gave the zombie banks’ bondholders a free ride. (I actually thought Yglesias agreed with this.)
3. He added substantially to a very large public debt overhang, to shield the public sector from having to make the same sacrifices as everyone else, and to make down-payments on a pre-existing Democratic spending wish list, without contributing much to the recovery in any long-term or lasting way.
4. He decided that it was more important to please his base by going for big health-care and energy bills than to create a stable and predictable policy environment for businesses.